News shows on the biggest Spanish-language networks, Univision and Telemundo, failed to mention that November 1 marked Latina Equal Pay Day -- which is the day that Latinas reach an average annual income that matches the average annual income white men earned in 2015 -- meaning it took Latinas nearly two years to earn as much as white men earned on average in 2015.
Media Matters analyzed coverage of the November 1 editions of Telemundo’s Noticiero Telemundo and Univision’s Noticiero Univisión and Edición Nocturna and found no mentions of Latina Equal Pay Day. In contrast, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and more than a hundred women’s rights groups and Latino empowerment organizations observed the day by raising awareness and highlighting research that shows the impact of this wage gap. One study, from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, found that “if trends over the last 30 years continue, Hispanic women will not see equal pay with White men until 2248, 232 years from now.” The study also found that for Latinas, median annual earnings have in fact declined in most states.
To many Spanish-speaking Latinos, the top-rated networks Univision and Telemundo are the tools that help them “navigate America.” Research from Pew has found that close to 1.85 million viewers tune in to watch Univision’s daily news cast Noticiero Univisión, while Noticiero Telemundo’s viewership continues to increase. By failing to shine a light on how wage inequality affects Latinas, Spanish-language networks missed an opportunity to empower the community they serve.